Drug-Free Ways To Ease Arthritis

There are over 100 types of arthritis ranging from osteoporosis to spondylitis. Here are a few ways to combat them

By Charlotte Hilton Andersen with Gagan Dhillon Updated: Oct 1, 2018 19:02:01 IST
Drug-Free Ways To Ease Arthritis


The trick is to find a gentle practice that helps mobilize your joints and muscles. "Yoga is especially helpful for those who experience pain and other issues related to the spine."      

Dr P. K. Dave, chairman, department of orthopaedics at Rockland Hospital, New Delhi, and formerly director, AIIMS, New Delhi


Dark-green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are abundant in vitamin K. Studies show that adults who have high levels of this vitamin have a lower risk of hip fractures, higher bone density and reduced loss of calcium. Have your greens with citrus to boost absorption of nutrients.

Source: Food Cures: Breakthrough Nutritional Prescriptions for Everything from Colds to Cancer


"Healthy gut microbiomes may
be the key to healthy joints. You can support good gut bacteria
by eating foods with active cultures, such as kefir and plain yogurt, along with fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut. A quality probiotic supplement can help."

Dr Susan Blum, founder and director of the Blum Center for Health, New York, USA


In Turmeric: The Salt of the Orient is the Spice of Life, Dr Kamala Krishnaswamy talks about the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, an antioxidant in turmeric. No wonder, in Asia, the spice is a household remedy for nicks and cuts, acne and painful joints. Drink turmeric with warm milk--the temperature and fats help your body absorb the goodness of the golden spice.    

Going Gluten-Free

"Even in people who aren't sensitive to it, gluten can cause inflammation. Eliminating it may reduce pain and increase mobility". Check with your doctor to make sure you don't miss out on key nutrients. 

Dr Anca Askanase, director of rheumatology at Columbia University Medical Center, New York 


"Capsaicin, the active component in chilli peppers, can be used topically over symptomatic joints to help ease the pain. It works in varying degrees in different patients. But watch out; it does burn a little when applied!" 

Dr Don R. Martin,  rheumatologist with Sentara Rheumatology Specialists, Virginia, USA


When you are in pain or feeling sore, try a warm compress or a cold one before reaching for a painkiller. "A warm compress soothes soreness and pain. But if you are experiencing swelling accompanied by pain then it is better to apply ice to the spot. A cold compress will minimize inflammation which will reduce the swelling as well as pain."   

Dr P. K. Dave


Osteoarthritis and Cartilage published a meta-analysis in 2013 indicating that acupuncture is effective at easing knee pain. Other studies suggest that needling may help get rid of pain and inflammation by triggering the immune system to release endorphins, its natural painkillers. If you are wary of needles, try acupressure to improve blood flow to achy joints.


A study in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found that those who listened to relaxing music for 20 minutes perceived a 52 per cent reduction in pain. The study suggests that listening to music relaxes and distracts the patient by lowering the awareness of pain, which eases muscle tension around the troubled area. 


Worldwide, 9.6 per cent men and 18 per cent women aged over 60 have symptomatic osteoarthritis. Eighty per cent of those diagnosed have restriction in movement and 25 per cent have trouble performing daily activities. It is the second most common rheumatology-related problem in India, with nearly 45 per cent of women over the age of 65 displaying symptoms. 

Source: World Health Organization and National Health Portal India

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